Today in Music History - June 11

The Canadian Press, May 30, 2014 | Go to article overview

Today in Music History - June 11


Today in Music History - June 11

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Today in Music History for June 11:

In 1864, German composer Richard Strauss was born. Strauss completed the development of the 19th-century symphonic poem and was a leading composer of romantic opera in the early 20th century. His better known operatic works include "Salome," "Electra" and "Der Rosenkavalier." His 1895 composition "Thus Spake Zarathustra," was used as part of the soundtrack for the movie "2001." Richard Strauss served briefly as head of musical affairs under the Nazis but was cleared of collaboration in 1948 -- the year before his death.

In 1934, James "Pookie" Hudson, lead singer of the 1950s doo-wop group, "The Spaniels," was born in Gary, Ind. "The Spaniels" hit No. 5 on the R&B chart in 1954 with "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight," which was covered for the pop market by "The McGuire Sisters." "The Spaniels'" version of the song was the closing theme for the 1973 film, "American Graffiti." He died Jan. 16, 2007.

In 1949, Hank Williams made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. His performance, with the audience demanding several encores of "Lovesick Blues," is still considered one of the Opry's greatest moments. The success of his recording of that song had led to the Opry contract, and he remained with the show until August, 1952, when he was fired for perpetual drunkeness. Williams died on New Year's Day in 1953 of a heart attack brought on by excessive drinking. He was 29.

In 1966, Janis Joplin performed for the first time with "Big Brother and the Holding Company" at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.

In 1969, David Bowie released "Space Oddity" as a single, to coincide with the first lunar landing.

In 1970, a U.S. tour by "Ginger Baker's Air Force" was cancelled eight days before the first concert because of what was termed the "political situation in America." Not mentioned was that only 3,000 tickets were sold for the opening date. Baker, the former drummer for "Cream," later opened a recording studio in Nigeria.

In 1976, Wild Cherry released "Play That Funky Music."

In 1978, "The Rolling Stones" released the album "Some Girls," which caused controversy because of raunchy lyrics in the title song.

In 1979, Chuck Berry pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to income tax evasion. The charge stemmed from a 1973 debt of $110,000. Berry began serving a four-month prison term in August at a federal prison in Lompoc, Calif.

In 1986, "The Police" reunited at an Amnesty International show in Atlanta, performing five songs.

In 1988, a huge charity rock concert was staged at London's Wembley Stadium. Sting, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams and other singers gathered to denounce South African apartheid and honour jailed black leader Nelson Mandela. More than 70,000 fans paid US$45 each to attend the nearly 11-hour concert. An estimated 750 million others watched on television in 60 countries, including Canada. The more than US$3 million in proceeds went towards British anti-apartheid activities and children's charities in southern Africa. …

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